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Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

Hastings, Minnesota
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Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

I am working on planning a trip sometime between Dec 29th - Jan 11 2014. My buddy and I are both turning 30 in January so we've started the process of having a midlife crisis ;o). The trip will be for us and our wives.

We are open to just about anything. We've been tossing around tropical vacations, Vegas vacations, and Ski vacations. I am wondering if it is even remotely possible to have a European ski vacation on a budget. We're looking in the $2000pp zone (including airfare from Minnesota)

We hope to be able to spend 7-10 days somewhere and definitely don't need to be skiing the whole time. Is this WAY out of our budget range or even remotely possible?

Thanks for any help

Destination Expert
for Seattle, Family Travel
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1. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

Hi Tim S,

Well... it would be very tight - particularly as you approach 10 days. The biggest bite out of your budget is going to be the airfare which is remaining high, and I expect prices will stay high next year. I did a quick search for your dates into Paris, Geneva, Munich, London, with additional travel costs to ski areas. Cheapest flights alone right now are falling in the $1200-1300 range. That doesn't leave much (if any!) wiggle room for tickets, rentals, lodging, food and celebrating. A package deal might help bring costs down. I would contact ski.com, who specialize in ski vacations, and see if they can pull anything together for you at all close to your budget or if they have creative ways to stretch your $.

Another thing to consider is the time between Christmas and New Year's is the most expensive time to ski with prices for lodging sky high. If you can adjust your dates, and ski after January 2, savings are usually significant. For example, maybe doing some touring on the first part of your trip, followed by a few days skiing. Note, however, that New Year's Day 2014 is a Wednesday, and some areas may keep prices high through that next weekend.

Where have you skied before? Have you considered perhaps a trip to Whistler, Canada? Your airfare would be a fraction of the fare to Europe, the skiing and terrain is fabulous; the village, restaurants and clubs are lively. There are plenty of activities beyond the slopes and resort. You could combine that with a few days in Vancouver, one of my favorite international cities. Or you could ski Whistler and one of the other BC ski areas for a little variety.

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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2. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

$2k is probably pretty tight for holiday period. Key is what you can find for airfare. I fly to Europe a lot and work in the ski business. Pretty difficult to find anything under $1k in winter anymore.

Best value for you will likely be Austria or Germany. Switzerland will be out of sight. Italy would be great but a little more difficult to get there. You can fly to Munich and take a train to Garmisch in a couple hours and various resorts in Austria in two to three. Look at getting an apartment in Kirchberg, Austria and ski there and adjoining Kitzbuehel. Seefeld/Innsbruck might be another option. I was just in Schladming, Austria for a week and that would also be possible by train.

Have fun.

Edited: 04 March 2013, 06:38
Hove, United Kingdom
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3. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

yeah I think the $2k budget is really going to limit your holiday, mainly because the airfare is so expensive from the US to Europe..

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4. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

I just came back from an absolute great trip with an organization called Crazy Snow Camps. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRTGOEiUxJ8 It was cheap and really a lot of fun. They will have one very very soon again from Feb 1-8 2014 in Switzerland. For more info I would check the site www.crazycamp.org

Hope this helps :-)

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

Just did a check for air fare Minnesota to Barcelona and got $1100 for next week so if you book far enough in advance you should do better than that. Car hire and small apartment could only set you back $500 between you. Ski hire and passes another $800 or so. Leaves $2000 for food etc. Should be enough left for a few days in the sun in Barcelona afterwards.

London, United...
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6. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

Definitely I think the $2k plan is truly going to breaking point your vacation, fundamentally in light of the fact that the airfare is so unreasonable from the US to Europe.

7. Re: Is a Budget ski trip to Europe possible?

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